Lost beehives blamed on spraying of fungicides, Parishville man says
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 8:54 am

To the Editor:

My husband is a beekeeper. He has hives at two of our son’s places. Last summer he went to take off the last of the honey—only to find them dead. They had been strong and healthy. What happened?

Our son said that not long before that, one day a strange smelling mist came over their place and their eyes burned, they got headaches, some coughed and the next day they were all quite sick, except the baby.

Someone told us that the town of Stockholm had been planning to spray mosquitoes because of a few cases of West Nile Virus. The horticultural county extension agent said he will investigate. He said it could be fungicide that was applied on a hot day, which can volatilize and drift for miles.

We wondered who would use fungicide in late summer. We were told that now farmers are spraying their GMO corn silage with fungicide to prevent aborted calves caused by mycotoxins in the silage.

Many others also lost hives. 90 percent of the bees in the valley were dead by this spring. All over the country bees and other beneficial insects are dying. Another suspected cause is agricultural seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides, which are systemic and kills insect larva.

So then the pollen from treated corn becomes poisonous to baby bees. Those August baby bees are the young bees that survive the winter. Europe has banned neonicotinoids on all flowering plants.

80% of the honey consumed in USA is imported because of the heavy losses. All of Cuba farms organically and they export a lot of honey. 40 years ago this area produced 300 pounds of honey per colony. Now 40 to 60 pounds is considered good.

When God created this world, He said it is good. It has thrived and sustained us for millennia. If we work with it and are good stewards of what God has given us, it will continue to do so. The problem is not too many people. The problem is our pride and our greed that causes us to waste, plunder, pollute, and destroy the earth. Let us humble ourselves, turn to God, and follow Him and His way. He knows more than we do. His thoughts and ways are as higher from ours as the heavens are higher than the earth. (Isaiah 55:8, 9)

Rachel Martin

Parishville